Update: Avalon 2019: Bell and Leonardo compete for Australian special ops helicopter project

27 February 2019

Helicopter manufacturers Bell and Leonardo have outlined their respective proposals to meet Australian Defence Force (ADF) requirements to procure a helicopter to support Special Forces operations.

Bell officials told Jane’s at the 2019 Avalon Airshow on 27 February that the company is offering to meet the requirement with two platforms: the single-engine Bell 407 and twin-engine Bell 429.

To meet the requirement Bell will collaborate with local aerospace company Hawker Pacific. Under their partnership, Hawker Pacific will act as prime contractor and provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and future customisation services to support the selected Bell platform.

Leonardo officials confirmed that it has positioned three twin-engine platforms for the requirement: the AW109, AW159, and AW169.

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